In a year of huge change and challenge for the music industry, when the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter, Brexit and the climate crisis is leading the sector to question what it means to export music internationally, Wales Arts International wants to support presenters, promoters and artists from Wales to attend WOMEX digitally. This is an important opportunity to develop programming and artistic work, build networks and connections and to participate in key global conversations.


Alongside the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement has motivated urgent conversations around equality and diversity, and in Wales the conversations hosted jointly by Tŷ Cerdd and the Privilege Café about music and race have brought attention to the inequalities facing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic musicians, presenters and programmers.


With this in mind, we are particularly keen to challenge notions of what a creative artist from Wales looks like, what Welsh music is and who represents Wales. We will prioritise applications from presenters, promoters and artists who have not been to WOMEX before and/or who are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds; are promoting Welsh language music; have disabilities or illnesses (mental or physical); are under 30 years old; are on low incomes. We hope that as a digital event, those who are usually unable to travel for any reason will be given an opportunity to attend WOMEX.


WOMEX also acts as a meeting point for the World Music Pan-Indigenous Network, which connects indigenous musicians and those working in indigenous languages. Wales Arts International will be taking part in their virtual conference and delegates will have the opportunity to join in with conversations about the global responsibility of the Welsh language towards other international indigenous languages, and about how we can celebrate the variety of languages in Wales.


What is WOMEX?


WOMEX is the most important international market for world music. This unparalleled international showcase and fair brings together professionals from a vast musical spectrum, including traditional folk and roots, local and diaspora cultures, urban and electronic sounds, as well as Jazz and classical music, from all over the world. WOMEX also includes concerts, conferences, a DJ summit and documentary films. WOMEX was held in Cardiff Bay in 2013.


We are inviting applications from Wales based presenters (festivals, promoters, producers and venues) and artists who wish to attend the digital edition of WOMEX 2020 which will take place online 21 - 25 October.


This year the showcase festival, which was due to take place in Budapest, Hungary, is going online for the first time. Digital delegates will have access to:

  • all WOMEX 20 online content including showcases, conference, film programme and award ceremony
  • 365-day access to virtualWOMEX, an online networking platform, with regular opportunities to network and engage with the community and make use of content that is uploaded year-round
  • direct communication with all registered WOMEX delegates and companies


As a delegate you will have the opportunity to develop your programming or artistic work and network with the world’s biggest world music market.  


Wales Arts International and Arts Council of Wales will also be representing musicians from Wales alongside those from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland on the Horizons at WOMEX virtual platform as part of the Horizons partnership.


Who should apply?


We are offering delegate passes to presenters, promoters and artists in Wales who:

  • are programming or wish to programme world music
  • aspire to celebrate diversity in all forms – in race, gender, sexuality, age, language, disability
  • are committed to finding ways to connect Wales with the world and the world to Wales
  • are committed to supporting indigenous languages as part of Wales’ Global Responsibility goal and celebrating the diverse languages of Wales, through performance, programming or collaboration.


We will give priority to individuals:

  • from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds
  • with disabilities or illnesses (mental or physical)
  • who are under 30 years old
  • are on low incomes
  • are promoting Welsh language music
  • who have not been to WOMEX before.


You must be available 21 – 25 October and have access to a computer and WiFi to be able to attend the event. Daytime WOMEX offers delegates a rich conference programme and an opportunity to connect to global networks. The evening programme offers bookers a chance to listen to some of the world’s most exciting musicians for festivals, film producers and venues in Wales to programme. You must be available for a briefing session ahead of the event on 19 or 20 Octoberwhere you will receive support and advice from Wales Arts International on how to make the most of the event.


If successful, you will receive a digital delegate pass worth 79 which will give you access to the online showcase festival programme. Wales Arts International will be responsible for booking your delegate pass.


The application:


We want to know in a couple of paragraphs (or a video if you prefer) why you are interested in attending WOMEX 2020 and what would you like to get out of the opportunity. We’d like you to tell us:


  • How you think attending WOMEX 2020 may impact on your future programming decisions and/or develop your international career.
  • How you will use the opportunity to benefit your community  
  • How you would act as an ambassador for music in and outside of Wales
  • What, if any, international projects or networks you have been involved in to date or any current international interest in your work
  • Why it is a timely opportunity for you.


Applications will not only be considered based on a person’s experience but also on the strength of their potential.


When do I apply?


The application deadline is 17:00 on 14 October 2020. Successful candidates will be notified by 16 October 2020.


How do I apply?


Send us your answers to the questions above along with a CV.


Please also tell us whether you have been to WOMEX before and whether you identify with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Individuals from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds
  • Individuals with disabilities or illnesses (mental or physical)
  • Individuals who are under 30 years old
  • Individuals who work in or with the Welsh language
  • Individuals on low incomes.


Please also include, if possible, two or three publicity images formatted at 300 dpi or higher.


Send your application, with ‘WOMEX 2020 Pass’ as the subject line, to by 17:00 on 14 October 2020.


If you would like to apply for this opportunity but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, or have any other questions, please contact Judith Musker Turner for an informal chat.


For further information about WOMEX: